Pinnacle Studio 24 Review

Before we get into this Pinnacle Studio 24 review fully there are a few details it is probably best to get out of the way from the beginning.

This is only the fourth time I have included Pinnacle Studio on my site as a recommended software choice for video editing.

It is one of the oldest digital video editing packages that is still available today so let’s address that elephant in the room right off the bat.

It is more than likely that you will or may have come across some “less than enthusiastic” reviews or commentary about this software program!

Pinnacle Studio was one of the first commercially available video editors aimed at the average home user way back at the dawn of the digital video age.

It has had a chequered history since that time for a number of reasons.

If you want to read the full story, I did a blog post on it a while back which covers all the whys and wherefores of the product’s history and you can see that here.

The Friday Roundup – Corel Breathes New Life into Pinnacle Studio

The ONLY reason I have a Pinnacle Studio review on this site is because Corel, since taking it over back in 2012, have done a mighty job in getting it on track, running smoothly and moving it into forward development.

I could have safely added a Pinnacle Studio review at around version 18 or 19 but left it until version 20 to make absolutely sure Corel were serious about it.

So here we are at Pinnacle Studio 24 and with this newest update it is safe to say that the backlog of stabilization and modernization tasks are complete and we have moved into straight out development mode.

This latest update is further evidence that Pinnacle’s has stopped playing catch up and has returned to the head of the pack again.

I feel very confident in recommending it to anyone looking for video editing software at the more sophisticated end of the consumer or prosumer video editing market.

Why Pinnacle Studio?

If you hadn’t already gathered, the basic purpose of every review on this site is to only include software I have tested myself and found to be best in class.

This is all in an effort to try to at least simplify the decision making process in choosing a video editor.

At this level of the video editing software market there are about 6 or 7 main contenders, all of them good at what they do and the differences between them minute.

This apparent “sameness” makes choosing the right one for you very difficult because it is so hard to tell them apart.

So before I get into the Pinnacle Studio 24 review proper let’s just cover what makes it different to the rest of the pack.

The answer to that question could be summed up in one word, control.

Pinnacle Studio does not particularly pack any different features than you wouldn’t find in any of its main competition so let’s be clear on that.

What it does offer are those features designed and presented in a way that allows the user to exert a level of control almost at the standard of fully professional software.

In fact Pinnacle Studio 24 is as close as you can get to a professional video editor while still staying within a “what you see is what you get” style interface without the complication and hefty price tag.

So first let’s take a look at the obligatory slick marketing promo video to get a bit of a feel for what the program can do and how it looks.

What’s New and Improved?

On page two of this Pinnacle Studio 24 review I will go over the individual features of the program but first let’s take a look at what’s new in this latest version.

Remember these are the new features or improvements that are in addition to the already vast range of features the software already offers.

Here’s a quick look at some of the new features in this version of Pinnacle Studio 24

Enhanced Performance – (All Versions)

Well this is pretty much a given for all video editing software these days and Pinnacle Studio 24 is no exception.

CPU’s, RAM, Motherboards and drives have been steadily evolving and Pinnacle Studio 24 is offering improvements to render times and playback as well as enhanced Intel Quick Sync video hardware acceleration.

Title Editor – (All Versions)

The Title Editor has been totally re-worked to allow keyframed attributes to be applied to all aspects of elements being used in the title.

That means you can set the style and manipulate individual parameters of any text with keyframe-based controls such as motion, rotation, scaling, and more.

The level of control is pretty insane given that now you can apply keyframed effects to text, individual words or even right down to individual letters within a word!

You can then save those settings as a preset that you can use in future projects.

Workflow Efficiencies – (All Versions)

This is a collection of tweaks they have applied to both the interface and some of the modules you would normally being using most often when editing.

They include things like being able to add notes to a project, re-organized library folders and enhanced keyboard shortcuts.

Graphics & Overlays – (All Versions)

New animated overlays, graphics, and backgrounds have been added so you can drag and drop them into your work without having to create them yourself.

Keyframing Controls – (All Versions)

Pinnacle has featured the ability to use keyframes for a long time now but in this version those capabilities have been greatly extended.

Keyframing has long been one of the vital ways by which you can exert fine control over what is happening at any given time in your videos.

You can now use keyframes in a much wider range of scenarios such as within preset transitions or included effects.

Beyond that you can also use keyframes to achieve smooth speed ramping or Time Re-mapping to not just speed up or slow down an entire clip.

Sections within the video can also be made to smoothly play faster or slower within the overall clip.

In Pinnacle Studio 24 you are now able to multi-select a group of keyframes by drawing a frame around them to highlight, reposition, or even duplicate and streamline your editing.

Dynamic Video Masking – (Pinnacle Studio 24 Ultimate only)

They have added controls to the masking module so that you can now manipulate masks frame by frame.

Using these new controls means you can create some amazing special effects. create custom masks and then save them to reuse in other projects with new shortcuts.

Face Tracking – (Ultimate Exclusive)

This is a new featured added to both the Motion Tracking and Video Masking tools.

You can identify a face in your footage and then have the Motion tracking tool track it then use all of that in conjunction with the masking tool.

A side effect of this new feature is that by developing new edge detection technology to identify faces the overall Motion Tracking has greatly improved.

So that’s about it for all the new stuff and a catch up on how we got here with Pinnacle Studio 24!

Use the links below to either read the rest of this review or go to the Pinnacle website to take a look at the software for yourself.

Click Here to See Pinnacle Studio 24

Click Here to Read Part Two of the Pinnacle Studio 24 Review

4.5 / 5 stars

View Comments (88)

  • Hi Lance,
    I bought Studio 24 and it says that in settings you can create Proxy Files but when you go into the settings button there is no where that it says you can create Proxy Files which I would love as even though my computer is high spec I still have that slight drag in some of the footage on the time line. Would appreciate any help.

    • Hi Roanan,
      Gee! When you were reading the manual as I am sure you did you must have missed this bit!

      Page 268.

      You can use the Smart Proxy Manager to enable or disable Smart Proxy, change the default resolution threshold that enables Smart Proxy, and access the Smart Proxy File Manager and Smart Proxy Queue Manager to manage existing and future proxy files.

      To enable or disable Smart Proxy

      • Click the Settings button > Smart Proxy Manager > Enable Smart Proxy.

      Note: The Smart Proxy feature is enabled by default if the computer’s hardware can
      support the feature.

      To set the resolution threshold and location for Smart Proxy files:
      1. Select Settings > Smart Proxy Manager > Settings.
      2. In the Smart Proxy dialog box, set a resolution threshold for the creation of proxy files and choose a proxy folder.

      To manage proxy files:

      1. Select Settings > Smart Proxy Manager, and choose one of the following options:
      • Smart Proxy File Manager — Lists the source and proxy files. You can use this manager to delete proxy files you no longer need.
      • Smart Proxy Queue Manager — Lists source files for which proxy files will be generated (according to the current settings)

  • Thank you for your honest opinion. I think Pinnacle may be the right one for me. It's good to know that the product has really advanced and previous issues have been fixed, so it's more reliable now. Also I am a beginner in this area (video editing), so I'd prefer a tool that's easy to use, and not too complicated.

  • Hi just purchased 23 but every time I make a dvd the sound sync is terrible any ideas what I am doing wrong looks all right before I burn it to disk very frustrating 😭

    • Hi Tony,
      OK so that a pretty common problem that is definitely NOT associated with just Pinnacle.
      I have seen that many time with lots of other software and that is because the usual cause is not the software itself.
      It is usually caused by the computer failing to keep up with the process of creating the DVD.
      So the first thing you should do is have you project loaded up into the timeline.
      Now go to the Export module and export a DVD compliant MPEG2 file.
      Play that file on your computer to check for any sync problems but it should be OK.
      Now clear the timeline completely and go to the disc burning module and choose to burn a DVD.
      When asked for a file navigate to the MPEG2 file you created and use that for the DVD.
      Go through the DVD authoring process as usual and you should end up with a fully synced DVD.
      If that fails come back to this site and send me a message using the "Contact" button because failure would suggest a problem more specific to your computer and setup.
      That kind of problem a far easier to deal with in an email exchange.

  • Hello, and thank you for your review. I have studio 12 plus, and have been wanting to upgrade for some time but first needed to get a better computer. Now that I have a more capable system, I'm ready to upgrade and have been looking at studio 23. My only concern is, will studio 23 import my previous projects. I have been looking a bit across the internet for this answer and have found it for some earlier versions of studio, but not a specific reference for 23. I am wondering if you might have an answer to that question. Thank you and I appreciate your reviews.

    • Hi Tim,
      OK you got me with this one!
      Usually project files will behave reasonably well going back five or six version or so with most software.
      However in your case I think it is going to be a bit of a crap shoot going back to version 12!
      Unfortunately I think you are going to have to just bite the bullet and see what happens.
      The other thing to keep in mind is that Pinnacle does NOT overwrite previous versions when you upgrade.
      Each version exists as a standalone version so even if 23 cannot open the projects you can still have 12 there as a backup.

  • Earlier in this year I purchased Pinnacle 22 but it would not let me import from my Panasonic 4K camera. I then had to upgrade my PC After much communication with Corel the problem was not solved. I asked and received a full refund for the product. I have previously used and was very satisfied with Pinnacle 19 before I bought my 4K. I am in communication once more with Corel but I cannot get an answer. Before I purchase will pinnacle 23 ultimate edit 4K .

    • Hi George,
      The short answer is yes but it comes with two "BUTS!"
      First up you have to go with the "Ultimate" version not the vanilla Pinnacle Studio or Plus version to get 4K support.
      Secondly working with 4K requires pretty good computer resources so you need to makes sure you are good to go in that department as well.

  • I have Pinnacle 17 and I'm not looking to get anything more complicated. Basically, I make videos of special events for my friends and invariably, I wind up frustrated with problems. Could you recommend a video-editing software that will simply give me the functions to insert photos, small video clips, music, snippets from a voice recorder, and a few transitions. That's all I need. I'm tired of screaming at my computer. Many thanks,

    • Hi Chris,
      Yeah, I know exactly what you mean and I feel your pain!

      I have a few high end editing solutions on my computer and by "high end" I mean woefully complicated.

      Given the fact that I am not going to be using 95% of their features except on very specific projects it's a bit like taking a Sherman Tank to a knife fight.

      So, what do I use? Filmora.

      Easily the most used editing software on my computer because it just cuts, chops, slices and dices.

      Review link below but check out their website and use the free trial, I think it will be what you are looking for.

      Filmora Review

  • I am retired, and have been for over 20 years, which means my income is limited.
    I bought Pinnacle Studio 21 because my use of Pinnacles goes back to version six if I remember correctly.
    But shortly after I did that, Adobe came out with PS 22 and now they are after me to upgrade. Naturally
    the upgrade isn't free.
    I'm only interested in creating some DVDs that contain Ideas that I and a few others are interested in, which
    is usually confined to religious issues.
    In your opinion, would there be any advantage for me to shell out more money, and buy PS 22?
    If so, why?
    If you have the time, and want to answer this post, please make it in English so I can understand better
    what it is you are talking about.

    • Hi Thomas,
      Lucky you asked for an answer in English because that's all I have!
      First up, Adobe are not bugging you to upgrade... Corel are as they own the software.
      I don't really like Adobe much as a company but we have to be fair here!
      You seem happy with Pinnacle 21, and if it does everything you need then there is absolutely NO reason to upgrade.
      When looking at upgrades there are only a few things you need to consider.
      1. Does my current version have a problem that the new version is designed to fix?
      2. Does the new version have some new feature that I would definitely use? (Not WANT, USE!)
      3. Is my current version so old that it is beginning to fail because general computer hardware or operating systems have begun to leave it behind?
      4. Is my current version so old that I may lose the discounts available when upgrading from one version to the next. (Pinnacle currently has NO backdate policy on this, all versions from the beginning of time are eligible.)
      4. Do I have too much money and need to spend it on having the latest version to make me feel good about myself or to impress my friends?

  • I have just purchased Pinnacle Studio 22 Ultimate. Having downloaded the software, I immediately enjoyed testing its facilities without a single hitch. I was very pleased with the performance. I then closed the programme, and switched off my computer. When I later switched on my computer a couple of days later, I found that the Pinnacle software simply wouldn't 'fire-up!' The boot page simply started to initialise the databases etc... and then closed. No error messages or other clues as to the cause were forthcoming. Nothing that I have tried, including reloading the software, will persuade the programme to run! Has anyone else had a similar problem?? (I have plenty of system resources on an i7 based system with plenty of RAM.)

    • Hi Chris,
      Yeah, that's kind of annoying!
      This is not a problem particularly exclusive to Pinnacle.
      Usually it arises because the Windows operating system allows software to assign its own "importance" in the world of your computer when it comes to sharing resources.
      Something already on your computer has probably pushed itself to the front of the line at the expense of Pinnacle... how rude!
      Most of the time this is just described as a conflict.
      So to fix it try re-installing Pinnacle. Don't worry at this stage about uninstalling them re-installing. Just install over the top of the existing installation.
      If that doesn't work you may have to go nuclear and uninstall Pinnacle, do a clean up of the computer then re-install.
      If that becomes necessary then kick me out an email using the "contact" button and I'll guide you through that.

  • So you mean versions 18 to 20 are like the old interface, only less crashes ?

    I am a 10.7 user, and rather used to that interface.

    • Hi Ντέβι,
      Yes that pretty much sums it up.
      The crashing problems began to reduce on 16 and 17 and finally by version 18 or 19 Corel had it under control.
      Version 20 was an update to add a lot of features that other software already had so by version 21 getting the software under control and bringing it fully into what most current editors offer.
      Version 21 mainly concentrated on the last thing Corel needed to bring yp to date and that was the interface which really hadn't changed much for many, many years.

      Unfortunately that update for users like you who have spent a lot of time learning to live with the old one may not really be that attractive!

      But for new users it is a far easier program to learn becuase of that more intuitive interface.

      My rule on any updates is don't do it unless to HAVE TO or if some new feature is worth the price.

  • I too used Pinnacle up to ver 15 and changed to Cyberlink Power Director because it offered proxy editing and Pinnacle did not. Now I edit almost exclusively in UHD, owning a FDR AX100 camcorder.
    What I am missing is the ability to create UHD BR discs, nobody offers it at this time. My hopes were high that the new version of PD16 would have it, but no.

    Apparently there is not much demand. Partly because users do not realize that, with proxy editing, one does not need a real fast computer. Anyone that can do BR should be able to do UHD. It just takes longer.

    What is the outlook for UHD authoring. What is the hold up? Licensing cost? Since HECP is now widely used, only the dics file system needs to be changed.

    Hi, Russel looks like you are looking for greener pastures too too.


    • Hi Eugene,
      Basically it all comes down to market forces on this development line.
      The overall consumer uptake on just run of the mill Blu-ray has been underwhelming to say the least.
      The OMG factor when the market went from VHS to DVD drove the development quite fiercely.
      The same cannot be said for HD because the average Joe while appreciating the glory of HD is not that fussed about quality over and above a widescreen DVD!
      The other factor is that 4K is a bit pointless unless you have a ginormous screen to display it in all it's glory and again, Joe Average hasn't really felt the need to reach into his pocket and fork out for it.
      Over time this will change as the market develops but for now I can assure you that what you are looking for is going to be well down the list of "stuff we need to get done" at you local software and hardware company!

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